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Hoop house over aquaponic growbeds

 
Posts: 13
Location: North Carolina, Zone 7B
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I live in the NC piedmont and I'm putting in an urban aquaponics setup. There is a 2500 gallon pond with two growbeds (40 x 4 feet and 30 x 4 feet). I have lots of free polycarbonate sheeting available and I'm considering putting a semi-permanent hoop house/greenhouse over part of the growbeds in order to grow tropicals (citrus, coffee, banana, stuff like that.) Our winters are not hard but there are several frosts and freezes. Our summers are warm to hot.

Basically my question is, will this work or be a good idea? The growbeds will be filled with expanded shale and constant flow, so there will be a constant stream of water running through the beds all year. It would be like putting a greenhouse over a stream. I like the idea because I could put citrus outside and not have to cover/move it inside during frosts. I am not so sure how aquaponics and greenhouses integrate when the aquaponics system is not contained inside the greenhouse.
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aquaponics site plan
 
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Rob Lisa wrote:I am not so sure how aquaponics and greenhouses integrate when the aquaponics system is not contained inside the greenhouse.



It might be OK but you'll constantly be loosing heat.
 
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Tropicals are going to need more heat and with your open water system it will not be warm enough. If you enclosed full system you may get the heat but unless you heat water doubt it will be warm enough for tropicals
 
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A great way to get more bang for your heating buck is to double layer the polycarbonate and inflate it! This puts the heating equivalent of a nice fluffy jacket over your greenhouse. We do this at our greenhouse and it easily gives us another 10 deg F without much electricity (just what we use for the small inflation fans). We are also exploring using compost heating with radiant heat exchange loops to keep the greenhouse and water warmer. You could also keep chickens in the greenhouse for added warmth.

Here is a link to a blower so you get an idea of what I'm talking about: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/poly-inflation-fan-kit/polyethylene-film-install-accessories .

I think it definitely possible to keep it above freezing in there but will probably take some heating to get it really warm maybe even a rocket stove.
 
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